There are a few heated threads running at the moment on Facebook and Fetlife. If I have my timeline correct it all started with a now removed thread on Facebook. This thread was restarted on Fetlife and it also spawned a different thread on Fetlife with a more general approach on the subject.

The subject is bondage (*duh* :)) and is is roughly about getting images from the internet and using them for criticism on the subject and moved into a possible copyright infringement discussion. The spawned thread followed-up on what the expectation is when you publicly post material (i.e. through your own website, on social media, physical media – i.e. DVD’s, etc.)

Click on the links above, read up to fully understand the remainder of this post.





Done so? Now continue…

In this post I’m going to be blunt, straightforward and take the bull by the horns (do what I do best, so to speak :)).

First of all, my personal opinion; if you operate publicly people are allowed to critique your publications. Common courtesy is that you do this respectfully. Keep this in mind!

The critiques are that Hebari’s tutorial video is not the best around and that he do better to make an improved version. Esinem is a loud voice in these thread and this continued into Esinem posting a tutorial video of the same tie and asking for critique. Here you can find the two tutorials:

Until now I had never watched and/or reviewed these tutorials in full, just bits and pieces because it was discussed here and there. What I did now was put these two video’s side by side watched and compared them with the intent to post some constructive criticism. Esinem’s tutorial is from fall 2011 and Hebari’s tutorial is from mid 2011. What greatly surprised me is that both tutorials are 100% identical! Each and every movement, every knot and wrap is 100% similar, WTF?!? This took me a bit by surprise and led me to go in a different direction than initially intended when I started watching these videos.

Both Esinem’s and Hebari’s gote are executed in the same way, they make the same movements, the same knots, the same wraps the same cinches, etc. and with “the same” I mean “exactly the same”. I am not talking about who is doing better rope or who is better executing the “kata” or who is building the technically better gote. Hebari got a lot of bad critique about his tutorial but seeing that both tutorials are exactly similar it would make sense that a lot of the critique directed at Hebari could be redirected to Esinem as well. One critique at hebari was that the gote upper wrap was too high…

do your comparison

At first I thought one copied from the other but seeing the time these video’s were first published that seemed unlikely. Then perhaps they have gotten this particular gote from the same teacher? Both Hebari and Esinem openly admit to have taken lessons from Steve and that this is one of the ways Osada Steve is tying a gote. So the only thing I can come up with for now is that both have taken Steve’s lessons and are publishing these lessons one-on-one under their own name. This is where things get blurry for me and I feel we enter a grey area. One word that first popped in my head was plagiarism (the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own). I was corrected that it is in fact not that but was not provided an answer of what it is then and wasn’t expecting it since I see this as a very difficult and delicate subject.

Luckily it seems Esinem finds the subject of plagiarism interesting enough to post about it on FetLife. Maybe the answer is found there. I will follow the thread and edit this post if an answer does come up. Personally I don’t know in how far it is (ethically, morally?) correct to take lessons from (in this case) Steve and then put what you learned online using your own name. Is it (ethically, morally) fair? I cannot answer that question what I can say is that this is something that strikes me as incorrect and it would make me feel incredibly… guilty… I guess. Am I alone in thinking like this?

To finish what I saw on both tutorials; each has its own flaws, i.e. the “thumb-crusher” and more in Esinem’s video and a extreme straightening of the gote-stem and more in Hebari’s version.  What both video’s make clear for me is that you need to take your responsibility (a great amount) when you publish tutorials. After seeing both video’s I do not consider them more than bad copies of the original source and solely for that reason I would not recommend these to any of the people that come to me for advice. For that I would point them to my own workshops (*plug* *plug* :))

I have great respect for the main participants of this post and I consider this post respectful to both. I also consider this post open and honest about their publication (bull by the horns) and not directed at either of the participants personally.


Here’s one of the RopeMarks gote tutorials produced in 2002 (10 years ago!) as support for our real life tuition. This video is not ment to be a stand-alone tutorial, this video is to be used in the context of our real life tuition. The usual disclaimer applies, mistakes are made in this video and the community and me has grown lots in 10 ten years.

p.s. do not be  distracted by the blindfolded, gagged and collared slave girl.


The last bit I would like to mention also started as a thread on Facebook for me. It’s a blog entry by Esinem about what he calls “adjustable single column tie”. On Facebook and his blog entry I feel that he implies that I learned this rope construction from him that I then used in one of my shows. The way I feel it was implicated shot down the wrong way with me. One of the reasons is that I feel my name was used for the better of someone else without me being aware of this or my consent.

I would like to correct: I did not learn this rope construction from Esinem nor do I approve of how he builds this construction (ymmv).

This technique I have been using of and on for a long, _long_, time and the exact source I can not recall. What I do know is that it was a printed Japanese source. For our last show (our Tanuki-show which we premiered on BoundCon IX) I used this technique very prominently.

Since this post we exchanged some some private mails and cleared the air, Bruce has updated his original post to remove what I read as wrong implications. Apparently this particular technique was discussed during my masterclass on the first RopeFest event in St. Petersburg… Seriously… I do not remember… But then again; I do not even remember what I taught the people during my private workshop last night…  With this I tend to go with the flow, extract current levels and desires, listen and take things from there to make the most of each teaching experience for the participant…

…and this last is taking things where they should go, rope!


 Edit 1: Updates from insight and information from the different forum’s and comments.

Edit 2: Updates from the messages in my private mailbox on this entry.


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